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Population statistics

SCLD publishes statistics about adults with learning disabilities who are known to local authorities in Scotland.  Statistics are numbers that tell us more about something we are interested in. This project is called Learning Disability Statistics Scotland or LDSS for short. LDSS has been granted National Statistics designation.

All local authorities in Scotland collect information on the numbers of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in their area. Information is collected about everyone who is known to the local authority – not just the people who are using services. A report about the number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in Scotland is published every year. The information we publish is anonymous. This means that the report does not contain any personal information like names or addresses and no one will be able to identify someone by looking at the report.

Current report

SCLD recognises that with the changing policy context, data users, data suppliers and other stakeholders want to ensure that the data provided in the Learning Disability Statistics Scotland (LDSS) publication continues to meet their needs and look at relevant outcomes.  

To this end, SCLD and Public Health Scotland (formerly Information Services Division (ISD)) have worked together over the course of 2019 to merge LDSS into the Source Social Care data collection. 

The inclusion of LDSS within Source is intended to:  

  • reduce the data collection burden at a local level;  
  • ensure learning disability population data is included within a routine health and social care collection, and;  
  • facilitate data linkage to enhance understanding of the social determinants of health for people with learning disabilities.  

Detailed data item definitions for the current LDSS collection were developed for the individual level collection which began in 2008. The process of inclusion within Source has also provided an opportunity to work with the Scottish Government to align the collection more closely with The keys to life learning disability strategy.  

The final guidance for the merged collection is in place and can be found here

SCLD is currently working with Public Health Scotland and local data providers to ensure a smooth transition to the new collection.  

As such, we have taken the decision along with the Scottish Government, NOT to open LDSS as a separate collection for 2020. This means that there will be no 2020 LDSS report. 

The first tranche of LDSS data, covering the period 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021, is due to be submitted to Public Health Scotland, as part of the Source collection by 30 June 2021 

For more information please contact Ruth Callander on or by calling 0141 248 3733 

Previous reports

You can access previous LDSS releases and other information of relevance by clicking the links below:

2019 Report

2018 Report

2017 Report

Codes of Practice

Data is available from 2008 onwards. For copies of these reports, please contact Lorne Berkley by email at or via phone on 0141 248 3733.